Policy Innovation Labs
Policy Innovation Labs (PILs) run in parallel with the CILs during the whole project duration and bring together policy makers, key stakeholders and experts to support the upscaling of the novel contractual solutions developed in the CILs. The close collaborationPeople working jointly towards a common goal, involving regular interaction among the collaborating individuals. May also apply to organisations. Belongs to the range of collective approaches. Synonym: Cooperation More between PILs and CILs creates an open dialogue between policy and practice, which is enriched by scientific knowledge provided by the different Contracts2.0 Work Packages. This enables mutual learning and knowledge co-creation which will equally benefit policy, practice and science by:
1) enhancing learning capabilities for all sides,
2) using the best available knowledge and sound scientific evidence as baseline information for policy decisions,
3) providing policy support for novel contracts and their up-scaling, and
4) increasing the relevance of scientific knowledge by real life testing and knowledge co-creation.
PIL North-West England
Farmer approval of results-based contracts is higher where they are (at least initially) offered in a hybrid format in combination with action-based measures or a base payment.
Results-based contracts offer significant advantages for land managers, but perceived or actual risks of low payments can undermine those benefits and threaten their wide scale adoption. A hybrid approach, which combines payment for action-based measures with a performance related component, addresses this barrier. In some circumstances it can also support and encourage farmers to innovate by experimenting in ways to achieve better results; a hybrid design provides an underpinning payment, which reduces the financial risk if innovative management fails.
Examples of results-based contracts in Europe show that hybridity is common and can take different forms, ranging from mainly result-based in character with baseline management requirements through to action-based contracts with a result-based ‘top-up’. The strength of result-orientation can vary, providing a flexible approach that can be adapted to local circumstances or changed over time.
Confidence in the results-based approach grows with experience. A hybrid approach can be used as a first step for new entrants before transitioning to a fully result-based approach in the future.
The balance between a fixed base payment or payment for action-based measures and the result-based element is critical for retaining the incentives in a results-based approach while reducing risk and retaining simplicity. Views on the right balance can vary widely.
PIL Limburg and PIL Groningen
Hybrid area-oriented approach:
The response of (bird) species targeted by the agri-environmental climatic measures varies depending on the types of measures, their location and concentration in space and of the characteristics of the surrounding landscape. Collectives could integrate the implementation individual AECM contracts at the landscape level to increase their effectiveness.
A regional approach that considers the landscape as a whole is needed considering the role of landscape structure and configuration in biodiversity, e.g. in terms of the diversity of targeted species and their own specificities (habitats, dispersal abilities) and in the provision of multiple ecosystem services. Working in an area-oriented manner can go beyond the improvement of the environmental conditions on the plot level and enable the consideration of the landscape as a whole. It could help prioritizing species targets based on landscape characteristics and fine tuning measures to prioritized species. It could also maintain or improve several ecosystem services, such as water quality, landscape aesthetics and habitat provision, and thereby improve the marketing of the local area for tourism.
Local working groups, including collectives and farmers, would design the management plan at the landscape level. Because area-oriented approach would imply a shift in the monitoring from one species to more general landscape-based indicators, related to habitat quality and would consider other environmental parameters, the exact targets and indicators for monitoring should be decided collectively.
The existing collectives can facilitate the process by looking at the landscape as a whole and drawing landscape management plans in agreement with (groups of) farmers and the authorities.
To ensure tangible results, contracts should last 12 years or longer depending on the land useThe human use of a piece of land for a certain purpose such as irrigated agriculture or recreation. Influenced by, but not synonymous with, land cover (OpenNESS glossary, 2016). See also: Land cover More, and rely on a hybrid (action- with some result-based principles) design, that consider management of the landscape and effects on several ecosystem services. Both aspects can be challenging to implement and might not fit the CAP calendar.
Stimulate collective action!
Flanders is lacking a policy stimulating collective approaches for the delivery of ecosystem services by farmers. Our contracta formal, written agreement for a specified duration signed by (at least) two parties. In Contracts2.0, we acknowledge the existence of informal contracts but use formal contracts to focus the research. More innovation labs have demonstrated how providing cooperationSee collaboration. More assistance, financial top-ups or access to additional land can stimulate farmers to embark on collective action. They proved that cooperating farmers may increase the effectiveness of measures, enjoy wider benefits of the measures and jointly explore additional efforts.
Providing facilitation support and rewarding farmers for collective action can foster farmers’ support for environmental measures, stimulate peer-to-peer learning and provide ground for translating their own common understanding into designs that match the local ecological, social and economic conditions. Collective achievements are more visible in the landscape and create positive images of farmers in society. This stimulates them to expand their roles as landscape managers.
The new CAP includes limited possibilities for rewarding collective action. They need to be expanded and Member States need to be stimulated to implement them. Contrary to scattered individual efforts, collective action has the capacity to address the ecosystem level.
The organization and coordinationdescribes farmers working towards a shared goal, but without personal interaction. The alignment of actions toward the shared goal is achieved by an entity that coordinates the activities. Belongs to the range of collective approa... More of collective action involves additional costs. Without additional rewards, farmers will not embark on collective action.
A better recognition of existing pastoral collectives and their specificities.
Grazing on collective pastoral lands is a significant element of European’s high nature value farming. In France, more than 1,000 collective land managers do contracta formal, written agreement for a specified duration signed by (at least) two parties. In Contracts2.0, we acknowledge the existence of informal contracts but use formal contracts to focus the research. More AECM over 200,000 ha to conserve open landscapes and the associated habitats. However, collective AECMs are a simple transposition of the individual ones. The specificities of pastoral collectives and their territories should be integrated within the whole AECM implementation process.
In a context of multiple land uses and environmental servicesare the services that humans render to each other to maintain or increase certain ecosystem services (Karsenty, 2013). Environmental services are a sub-group of ecosystem services that are characterised by externalities (FAO, 2007... More trade-offs, a global approach is needed to set the contracta formal, written agreement for a specified duration signed by (at least) two parties. In Contracts2.0, we acknowledge the existence of informal contracts but use formal contracts to focus the research. More objective. Their identification will be the result from a shared understanding of pastoral and ecological challenges by experts and local actors. Local working groups will be in charge of co-designing management plans, considering flexible grazing practices and experimentations. Participatory monitoring and evaluation of the commitments will serve to enrich a quality approach rather than a single control objective. As a baseline, collective entities should be rewarded for the internal and external coordinationdescribes farmers working towards a shared goal, but without personal interaction. The alignment of actions toward the shared goal is achieved by an entity that coordinates the activities. Belongs to the range of collective approa... More costs necessary to maintain collective practices and the associated environmental public goodsPublic goods are non-rival (they cannot be exhausted) and non-excludable (there are no boundaries). An environmental example in the Contracts2.0 context is an open and beautiful landscape which can be enjoyed by one person without... More and then compensated for the costs improved commitments and efforts.
Regional (PIL) actors have validated the principles of this global & co-designed implementation process. French pastoral services are knowledgeable and active intermediaries.
A top-down regional targeting system for implementing AECM that is not taking into account local environmental priorities.
PIL Madrid Region
Land stewardship agreements to promote viable agriculture and new alternatives to farmers.
Protection of biodiversity and agrarian landscapes will be achieved by making the agrarian production viable for future generations. Mixed contracts with land stewardship agreements are an innovative manner to promote the horticultural sector and the adoption of sustainable practices in Madrid region.
An active role of the public administration to support local producers and alternative production systems is needed to promote the change in the agri-food system. The integration of result-based payments through land stewardship entities as intermediaries between the administration and the farmers is an innovative strategy, which is trying to me promoted in Madrid. Direct economic compensationIn the sense of the polluter pays principle: Compensation of the loss of performance and functionality of the ecosystem through appropriate measures. In the sense of incentive creation: A remuneration (typically based on the conce... More for the adoption of AECMS should be possible for horticultural producers to ensure their sustainability. So far, they cannot apply to any of the current AECMS because they are not adapted to horticulture production (farm size, farm characteristics). Administrative burdens and control should be reduced by land stewardship presence. Combination of result based and action-based payments will give more freedom and options to farmers.
Indicators for result-based payments are being tested from the academic point of view. Land stewardships entities can be from now on a beneficiary from measures corresponding to the II pillar payments.
Difficulties with implementing result-based payments with the public administration due to lack of interests.
PIL Tuscany Region
From conservation to valorisation.
Currently, contracts are mainly focus on improving the conservation of native plant varieties and animal species (result-based). The next step will be to make additional efforts to strengthen product development and their commercial value (value chain). The goal is to help farmers to be more independent by improving their connection to the marketplace.
In addition to products, farmers should need to be incentivised to sell seeds (promoting seed commerce). More flexible land property contracts. Including biodiversity as a crosscutting topic in all RDP measures. In addition to public measures, incorporating initiatives from private actors too.
There is a lack of expertise that can lead farmers towards product valorisation and its right positioning in the market = strategic role of intermediaries. Currently, monitoring costs to verify the achievement of results are very high.
Socio-economic transformation is needed to achieve conservation goals.
Safeguarding biodiversity in the Őrség is possible if meadows are expanded and restored, which is unimaginable without local farmers. The continuation of grassland management can be secured if farming becomes socially respected and the profitability gap between industrial agriculture and conservation-focused family farming is closed.
Result-based premiums paid as top-ups to action-based AECMs can economically rewardRemuneration for current ecological achievements (e.g. biodiversity, climate or water protection) without a necessary additionality. See also: Compensation More farmers; and can create partnership and foster mutual learning between farmers and conservationists. Three crucial conditions must be met: land property rightsSix property rights bundles can be differentiated (Galik and Jagger, 2015; Schlager and Ostrom, 1992). They can be described as follows: Access: right to enter a defined physical property Withdrawal: right to obtain products... More (re)arranged to favour small-scale farmers; coherence increased between CAP Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 payments; and technology modernized in both farming and monitoring. Combining result-based payments with quality assurance and labelling of local food products, and distributing certified products through short food supply chains, can help farmers realize market gains and redeem social esteem.
Conservation goals have been jointly defined; indicators are currently being tested. There is a local product label, which can be renewed, and there are emerging local initiatives for short food supply chains.
Difficulties with setting the payment level of the result-based scheme (administrative burdens, how to highlight the added value instead of the increased production costs) and to establish the organizational structures for product certification.
PIL North Rhine-Westphalia
A collective approachrefers to a collection of approaches that involve more than two individuals or parties who are progressing towards a common goal by undertaking collective action. Collective approaches may make use of collective contracts and coll... More increases the ecological impact of AECM programmes and the motivation of farmers to participate.
For many farmers the current agri-environmental schemes (AES)usually comprise several agri-environment-climate measures (AECM). Synonym: Agri-environment-climate schemes See also: Agri-environment-climate measures (AECM), Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) More are associated with multiple challenges making a participation unattractive. To ensure the effective implementation of AES, it is necessary to offer well designed programmes and an enabling policy environment that support the engagement of farmers.
The advice and support offered via the collective network facilitates a well-coordinated implementation of economically stable and ecologically effective measures and eases the bureaucratic burden for farmers and authorities. Close contact to advisors helps to avoid errors, thus lowering the risk of sanctions. A collective responds precisely to regional conditions and opportunities: It provides a catalogue of suitable measures, embedded into a regional management plan to coordinate measures on a landscape level and increase their impact. To boost flexibility, a results-based component could be an additional incentive to go the extra mile.
Farmers are interested in joining a collective as it strengthens their entrepreneurial responsibility, offers an eye-to-eye dialogue between farmers and other relevant actors, and considers the practicality of measures in terms of agronomic conditions and economic feasibility. The co-development of a framework for suitable collaborations and simplified sharing of knowledge, machinery, and resources are possible through a collective network.
Retentions of decision-makers & partial disunities between federal and different regional authorities in Germany, as well as fear of additional costs during conversion and for the administration of collectives. More courage & decisiveness is needed at regional level to develop structures to test and upscale the approach.
PIL Value-Chain (HiPP)
Thinking in value networks and rewarding food manufacturers for their commitment.
Value chain approachesare cooperation models to valorise environmental public goods within value chains. To ensure consumer trust, companies increasingly demand greater transparency about the management and delivery of public goods on supplier farms. S... More have great innovation potential: they have a strong bottom-up approach and can be adapted to the local situation in a targeted way. Many food manufacturers are already exploiting this potential voluntarily, offering their farmers support far beyond the legally required measures. However, this is only the first step. It is necessary to think in terms of entire value networks that involve all relevant actors, from producers and manufacturers to retailers and consumers. This is the only way to ensure sustainable value creation with positive effects for biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Appreciation is a crucial factor. Food manufacturers that drive innovative solutions need stronger support from politics and administration. Initiatives that have so far been fully self-financed could be supported, e.g. by funding pilot studies not only for farmers, but also for food manufacturers.
There are already well-functioning networks in place that strengthen nature conservation and climate issues. Especially food manufacturers and their supplying farmers share common values in this respect. They have strong mutual trust which results in long-term supply relationships. This also provides all involved actors with the opportunity to test new approaches and work jointly towards improvements.
Not all actors along value chains live up to their responsibilities. The common values of farmers and food manufacturers are often not well compatible with those of retailers, who have a strong market dominance. Also, the current policy environment, particularly the CAP, does not sufficiently support collaborationPeople working jointly towards a common goal, involving regular interaction among the collaborating individuals. May also apply to organisations. Belongs to the range of collective approaches. Synonym: Cooperation More between food manufacturers and the farmers who supply them, nor does it support collaborationPeople working jointly towards a common goal, involving regular interaction among the collaborating individuals. May also apply to organisations. Belongs to the range of collective approaches. Synonym: Cooperation More with other actors along the value chains. To date, antitrust laws have placed tight limits on collaborationPeople working jointly towards a common goal, involving regular interaction among the collaborating individuals. May also apply to organisations. Belongs to the range of collective approaches. Synonym: Cooperation More along value chains. However, with the recently enacted new rules in the Common Market Organization (CMO) Regulation, there is now much greater flexibility for common sustainability standards in agriculture and food. This now needs to be made concrete.
Compliance should be assessed by principles instead of rules.
Strategic goals safeguarding and enhancing nature and landscape on the contracted grasslands are best achieved if management is guided by principles instead of rules. At the tactical level, this enables continuous monitoring and adaptation of management to ensure compliance with the principles included in the contracta formal, written agreement for a specified duration signed by (at least) two parties. In Contracts2.0, we acknowledge the existence of informal contracts but use formal contracts to focus the research. More. And, it provides flexibility for the farmer at the operational level to match the daily management to the actual conditions.
Rigid rules and control must be replaced by more dialog on the management of the contracted grassland. The dialog could be based on individual management plans integrated in the current action-based contracts under the CAP. This could be as an additional voluntary tier with additional payments and with a yearly on-site follow up on the management plan substituting the current control. This will allow for tailored management of the individual contracta formal, written agreement for a specified duration signed by (at least) two parties. In Contracts2.0, we acknowledge the existence of informal contracts but use formal contracts to focus the research. More areas and for continuous adjustments of the management to meet the objectives of protecting and improving nature and landscape.
“The control must pursue the goal and not the man. If the main objective of the scheme is solved, any errors should only lead to reprimands, not major sanctions” (Danish farmer in Contracts2.0)
It has been demonstrated in land tenureLand tenure is an institution, i.e., rules invented by societies to regulate behaviour. Rules of tenure define how property rights to land are to be allocated within societies. They define how access is granted to rights to use, c... More contracts managed by local actors that managing by principles is possible. Survey data indicates that a third of the farmers with an agreement on conservation grazing today are interested in this option.
Lack of trust in the farmers from the authorities. Timing with the CAP process. Current capacity of local authorities.